Friday, December 11, 2009

Motorized Rollers

According to DOSH motorized rollers have caused two amputations and broken bones in three separate incidents in eastern Washington over the past 12 months.

The design of these devices allows operators to place their hands in dangerous proximity to moving parts as they grasp and guide the fabric being pulled onto the rotating shaft.

In all three incidents the employee’s hand or clothing was caught and quickly drawn into moving parts. The most dangerous location appears to be at or near the control switch.

If you have motorized rollers some of the things you can do to protect employees are:
  • Install proper guarding for the pinch points and other moving parts.
  • Use flat clips to anchor fabric rolls to the rotating shaft instead of metal pins, screwdrivers, and other objects that protrude and can snare clothing.
  • Install a positive-pressure control switch (also known as a “dead man’s switch”) to automatically cut off power when the operator releases it.

For more information you can check out the L&I (DOSH) hazard alert on this issue, which can be found at

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